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Surinam Agrees to Admit 30,000 Jewish Refugees; Dutch Government Must Approve Plan

April 25, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The government of Surinam, Dutch Guiana, is ready to admit 30,000 Jews immediately for settlement in unpopulated sections of the country, it was announced here today by the Freeland League, a Jewish group seeking areas for colonization by Jews from Europe.

An official proposal to admit the 30,000 was made by the Surinam Government three days ago to a Freeland League delegation, headed by Dr. I.N. Steinberg, which spent 10 days in Paramaribo, negotiating with a special commission composed of members of the government and of representatives of the Legislative Council. The Jewish delegation also addressed a private session of the Legislative Council. The project will have to be approved by the Dutch Government.

At a press conference here today the leaders of the Freeland League reported that the government of Surinam had agreed to receive a commission of experts to be sent by the League. These experts, in cooperation with the local authorities, will select the area or areas where Jewish settlements will be established.

“The Jewish settlement,” Dr. Steinberg told the press conference, “is not intended to become a separate political entity. Its members would become, in conformity with the laws of the country, citizens of Surinam. The Dutch language would be considered a bond holding together all groups of the Surinam population. At the same time, the development of Jewish culture, including religion, language and customs, would be guaranteed. Full scope would be given to the teaching of the Jewish language in the schools and to its use as an initial sedium of instruction.”

Dr. Steinberg said that agreement has been reached between the Surinam government and the Jewish delegation on all points except on the problem of further immigration after the initial 30,000 Jewish refugees have been settled.

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